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My Laugh Comes Last Paperback – January 1, 2000

3 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James Hadley Chase has been hailed as 'the thriller maestro of the generation', 'the king of all thriller writers' and a 'master of the art of his deception'. During his life, he wrote some eighty titles, each one thrilling and delighting his readers with their fast-moving tales of murder, intrigue, blackmail and espionage. Hadley Chase was born René Brabazon Raymond and he also wrote under the names of James L Dochery, Ambrose Grant and Raymond Marshall. He was born René Brabazon Raymond in London in 1906. Whilst working as a bookseller he was inspired by American crime-writers and went on to write his own thrillers and gangster stories, also set in the United States. Success came with No Orchids for Miss Blandish which was published in 1939 and was one of the most successful books of the thirties, selling several million copies. George Orwell described it as 'a brilliant piece of writing with hardly a wasted word or a jarring note anywhere'. It was subsequently dramatised and performed on London's West End, and also made into a film. Chase went on to gain popularity for his numerous other gangster stories, and by the end of the war he was one of Britain's most successful thriller writers. During his career he travelled widely and produced some ninety books, also writing under the names of James L Dochery, Ambrose Grant and Raymond Marshall, although ironically he only visited the USA late in life, relying previously upon knowledge gleaned from dictionaries of slang and encyclopedias for the novels set there. His interests included photography (he was up to professional standard), reading and listening to classical music, being a particularly enthusiastic opera lover.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: House of Stratus (January 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1842324152
  • ISBN-13: 978-1842324158
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,954,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
OK, this may be a thoroughly enjoyable book if you've never read a James Hadley Chase thriller before. If you have, then you're less likely to be impressed.

What can be said about the femme fatale in Chase? You just *know* she's going to turn out to be the treacherous one, dooming the narrator... In the best Chase books, you don't mind knowing this beforehand; but it does seem to be too much of a give-away in _My Laugh Comes Last_. Yes, the customary, pleasant plot twist does arrive at the very end as we've grown to expect from Chase, but this time, the book's ending does not seem to have deeper implications; the ending struck me as rather flat, given we'd had a good idea about the femme fatale all along.

The book was released in 1977, but feels remarkably old-fashioned even for those days; it's a late work by Chase, and you feel as if Chase was more at home in the 1950s and 1960s. Yes, I'm not going to judge bank security measures in 1977 by 2013 standards, but even so: it just defies belief that a supposedly "safest bank in the world" would only be guarded by a single watchman the entire weekend (!), and even this guard would be making his regular rounds, leaving the entrance to the bank completely unguarded for longish stretches of time. Did they have no security cameras in the late 1970s? Perhaps not, but even so: the plot seems so far-fetched it makes you shake your head. So, there are a couple of invisible beams in the lobby of "the safest bank in the world", and after you carefully crawl underneath them, you're free to spend your entire weekend inside the bank building, even inside its main vault, completely unnoticed and unhindered? Erm, I wonder!

The bank security issues make the plot sound hard to believe, but it's not better with character motivation.
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Format: Paperback
It is called under the icon "The Safest Bank" when it was lunched in an up-and-coming town on the Pacific coast, a jet plane conveying the united states president landed at the roof of the bank the first day as it was opened and other bank executives were present at the commissioning of the safest bank in the world. It was Farrell Brannigan, President of the National Californian Bank that built it with the safest security ever in the world; he is an extremely successful man, he has received worldwide publicity for constructing the safest bank in the world, and 'the safest bank in the world' as hailed. But Brannigan's success came at a price and he made many enemies on his way up the ladder. It seems that one of them is now set on revenge and determined to destroy both the bank and Brannigan himself. This time it could even involve the programmer of his security proof system. Hail chase!
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